Andrew Neil calls on France and Germany to pull their weight in war as Biden arms Ukraine
Zelensky says Russia used phosphorus bombs during invasion
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With Mr Zelensky calling for more weapons from the West as Russian troops regroup to pile more pressure on Eastern Ukraine, the race is on to prepare defences as the war rages on. The Ukrainian President has just recently secured a £612m ($800m) supply of arms from the US, including heavy duty equipment such as 18 Howitzer cannons and Mi-17 helicopters, ironically, originally from Russia.
Journalist and commentator Mr Neil however stated it was time for others to step up and help out in Ukraine.
Speaking of France, Mr Neil said: “France is consumed with a presidential election in which the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, recently described NATO as ‘brain-dead’ and tried to cosy up to Putin even after the invasion, while the challenger, Marine Le Pen, wants to take France out of Nato, regards Russia as an ally and still refuses to condemn its atrocities in Ukraine.”
On Germany, Mr Neil added: “Germany is still a depressing drag on a proper embargo of Russian oil and gas and its leader, Olaf Scholz, has even resisted sending Ukraine the heavy armour it promised.”
Germany was initially extremely sceptical over supplying arms or equipment to Ukraine during the initial dawn of the conflict.
Fears over energy supplies from Russia have largely kept Germany on the back-burner when it comes to the war in Ukraine.
In spite of Mr Biden condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, and accusing him of genocide over the atrocities discovered in Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian troops, France has stopped short of using such rhetoric.
Mr Neil did back the UK when it came to the war, however, warned Britain had once again become embroiled in domestic affairs.
Speaking of the situation, Mr Neil said: “Britain is solid for the Biden approach, but the Johnson government is once again mired in ‘Partygate’ scandals which continue to obsess the political and media chattering classes and which Putin will conclude is just another example of Western decadence and democratic politics’ lack of serious purpose.”
The promise of weapons to Ukraine from the US came following a telephone call between Mr Biden and Mr Putin.
Speaking after the pledge, Mr Biden said: “The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect.
“As Russia prepares to intensify its attack in the Donbas region, the United States will continue to provide Ukraine with the capabilities to defend itself.”
Mr Zelensky Tweeted his response following the telephone call with Mr Biden.
He wrote: “Continued constant dialogue with @POTUS.
“Assessed Russian war crimes.
“Discussed additional package of defensive and possible macro-financial aid.
“Agreed to enhance sanctions.”
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From within Germany, pressure is on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to step up too.
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who chairs the Bundestag’s defence committee said: “There is only one answer Russia understands: to continue to try to end the war through talks – but with one hand visibly on the holster.
“That means Germany has to also supply Ukraine with heavy weapons to help it defend itself, as long as they can be handled by the Ukrainian army.”
Anton Hofreiter, a leading figure on the left of the German green party added: “The problem lies in the chancellory.
“We have to finally start supplying Ukraine with what it needs, and that’s heavy weapons.”
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French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen warned Wednesday against sending any more weapons to Ukraine, and called for a rapprochement between NATO and Russia once Moscow’s war in Ukraine winds down.
The presidential hopeful said: “I’m more reserved about direct arms deliveries.
“Why? Because … the line is thin between aid and becoming a co-belligerent.
“Escalation of this conflict could bring a whole number of countries into a military commitment.”
Ending his views on how the West can assist Ukraine, writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Neil said: “The West will need to hold its nerve, to tighten sanctions further and to keep the weapons coming for as long as it takes if Putin is to be thwarted in the east as he was in the west.
“Given the courage and fighting spirit of the Ukrainians, it is surely not too much to ask of us.”
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